Healthcare News & Insights

Case study: Turnkey IT solution for mammography provider lowers costs, drives growth

Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, impacting 2.1 million women each year, according to the World Health Organization. Breast cancer rates are steadily increasing in nearly every region globally, making screening and diagnostic services ever more vital to early diagnosis and treatment. New mammography screening facilities offering the latest state-of-the-art technology are needed to meet rising demand. In this guest post, Jason Fackrell, network practice manager of an IT consulting and systems integration firm, shows how screening and diagnostic providers can keep up, even when faced with high IT installation costs and backlogged buildout schedules.

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Mammography providers are turning to full-service technology solutions that include every detail and cost required for the IT design, equipment and deployment of one center. Easily replicable, these solutions provide significant benefits, allowing mammography service providers to make gains on their balance sheet by avoiding high-cost capital expenditures and determining a consistent and predictable growth strategy.

Here’s an example of how this type of solution was created and deployed with a leader in the mammography service industry to accelerate their business objectives to grow 75% in size within the next 24 months.

Center-in-a-Box

Under great demand to update their facilities and provide more centers nationwide, Solis Mammography recognized the need for an innovative, cost-effective turnkey solution. Solis wanted to renovate and build new centers as quickly as possible, but a lack of internal resources confined their expansion plans and only allowed for one or two new centers per month. What they really needed was the support and capability to retrofit and/or open six to eight centers per month nationally.

Further, Solis had a very lean IT staff and their technology infrastructure consisted of solutions from multiple vendors, manufacturers and value-added resellers (VARs). Managing these relationships was time-consuming, costly and hindered business productivity.  Solis desired a full-service solution that provided centralized management capabilities so that they could keep their IT staff small while still having monitoring and visibility into their network.

Solis retained an IT consulting and integration firm that also provided managed services to determine how they could both update legacy facilities and build out new centers quicker. Operating as strategic partners, Solis and the IT consultant viewed the project through the lens of streamlining the installation process and making it cost predictable and scalable so that Solis could hit its business goals while delivering a great experience for staff and customers.

Legacy Solis centers were evaluated for conversion to newly developed technology standards such as SD-WAN solutions that reduce complexity and increase speed and bandwidth, as well as responsiveness and security. The IT consultant also performed predictive wireless site surveys at no cost to Solis that provided the information needed to: fix the existing coverage holes, deliver a good wireless experience, and give visibility into the network and the ability to troubleshoot remotely, which was key for Solis’ limited IT staff.

Reduced complexity

To reduce vendor and technology complexity, the IT consultant guided Solis on how to navigate to an end-state technology environment. And to consolidate from a manufacturer and reseller perspective, the IT consultant helped Solis move toward an integrated architecture with an all-in-one solution. Cisco Meraki, a cloud-based networking solution, was chosen because of its cloud dashboard where equipment can be provisioned before it arrives onsite and licenses delivered electronically, reducing time to market and providing additional visibility into the IT environment of centers Solis didn’t historically have. The Meraki MX SD-WAN appliance also provided full, built-in NGFW feature sets, as well as cloud-enabled, centralized management – the only SD-WAN solution on the market that offered these capabilities – allowing Solis to bring a full-featured firewall to every center while maintaining a lower cost point than other SD-WAN solutions.

With the solution identified, the IT consultant’s services team created a “center-in-a-box” approach to meet Solis’ needs that encompassed everything from procurement to assigning managed services resources. The IT consultant engaged in its proven method for assessing a customer environment and put together a repeatable solution that benefited from inline, third-party partnerships.

A key to success was the IT consultant’s ability to align its proven process with Solis’ executive team’s vision and support. As a trusted partner, the IT consultant was given the access needed to gather information from all parts of the business, to map the environment out completely and devise a playbook accordingly.

With guidance and support from the IT consultant, Solis implemented a streamlined center infrastructure that increases revenue and accelerates delivery of images to doctors, which means the centers can see more patients, deliver faster screening and diagnostic services, and create better patient outcomes at a time when they are needed the most.

As a result of the strategic partnership, Solis reached its goal of being able to update and build out new centers at a faster rate, an increase of 600%. In addition, Solis has already determined the business will save an estimated $50,000 per month in connectivity costs once the next retrofit project has been completed, further validating the benefits of their center-in-a-box strategy.

Jason Fackrell is the network practice manager of Accudata Systems, an IT consulting and systems integration firm.

 

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